Danfoss North America announced a major grant in support of the Penn State 2017 Immersive Internship in Global Sustainability Practices. The grant marks the launch of a collaborative Engineering Tomorrow’s Cities initiative through which Penn State and Danfoss will focus on enlarging the workforce required to create, maintain, and renew sustainable, low-carbon communities.

The initiative will also seek to advance the deployment of technologies and designs to reduce carbon emissions and highlight the important role of engineering in creating sustainable commercial buildings and communities.  

The internship initiative will be based at Penn State’s building and energy “living laboratory” research facility at the Philadelphia Navy Yard under the direction of Dr. James Freihaut, professor in the Penn State Department of Architectural Engineering.

Thirty graduate and undergraduate interns from universities around the world are expected to participate in the research project during the summer of 2017. Research topics will include district energy/combined heat and power through a multi-city onsite initiative across Pennsylvania; building/microgrid integration; smart building and demand response technologies; variable speed controls and building equipment; energy storage and building systems and sub-systems integration. Officials from Danfoss said participants will gain tangible work experience on real building efficiency and low-carbon footprint development projects, and be matched with leading public and private sector sustainable development organizations in their home countries for additional and ongoing impact.

“The Engineering Tomorrow’s Cities initiative with Danfoss grew out of our work together for their EnVisioneering Symposium on buildings and energy in June 2016, and our subsequent collaboration to support the work of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe to develop a framework for high-performance building standards,” said Dr. Freihau.  

 “Supporting this project with Penn State and Dr. Freihaut is a natural fit for Danfoss. We are committed to helping drive energy efficiency and sustainable infrastructure in our cities. We believe innovation is key; many technologies exist today, but we also need to take a holistic approach to understand the nexus between innovation, policy, and financial incentives in order to move forward,” commented Lisa Tryson, director of corporate communications for Danfoss North America.